In March of this year, I shared how the National Organization for Marriage had been promoting “ex-gay therapy” as a way to help change people from being gay. NOM, the primary funding arm behind Minnesota for Marriage, shows what these groups are really after through their advocacy of such practices. Make no mistake, these amendment supporters may hide behind the “protecting traditional marriage” argument, however, advocacy of reparative therapy practices shows their true colors.
With that said, I’m happy to say that this weekend, California has officially become the first state in the country to ban these reparative therapy practices for minors:
This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.
Governor Jerry Brown, California
I hope that other states will follow California’s lead. Let’s stop telling our youth that they need to be repaired for who they are. I said it back in March and I’ll say it again: NOM, your advocacy of these practices is shameful. The damage this organization does to society is far greater than any of the supposed consequences allowing gay marriage would have.
Great article from MinnPost that talks about Frank Schubert and his strategy. Yesterday, I wrote about his late-in-the-game tactics. The MinnPost article highlights how this strategy came to be and how he helped California pass Prop 8 (limiting the rights of marriage) with said strategy:
According to a 90-minute presentation Schubert made to the American Association of Political Consultants, the firm’s Prop 8 ads were the outgrowth of careful opinion surveying and message testing to learn what themes would sway the 10-15 percent of California voters who were open to being influenced.
One key element: After hearing that many people felt unaffected by the nature of a relationship between two other individuals, the firm realized it had to attach consequences to gay marriage. Voters in California, where same-sex marriage was legal before Prop 8, might not yet realize their liberty was being infringed, Schubert said.
The resulting campaigns, emotionally charged images accompanied by questionable arguments that gay marriage actively takes rights away from heterosexuals, have proven very hard to combat.
Let me re-emphasize part of that. This statement is so telling:
After hearing that many people felt unaffected by the nature of a relationship between two other individuals, the firm realized it had to attach consequences to gay marriage.
At the end of the day, the majority of Californians (and Minnesotans, too) are unaffected by a committed same-sex relationship, and Schubert knows this! Hence, his strategy of scare tactics that paint a picture of dire consequences if voters were to not pass the marriage amendment.
We know his strategy, and we know it’s extremely effective, so what are we doing to counter it? I struggle to understand why we haven’t come out with a preemptive educational piece for Minnesota voters. Instead of waiting for Schubert to attack us, why don’t we go on the offensive and share the fact that defeating this amendment won’t make same-sex marriage legal in Minnesota, it won’t force kindergarten teachers to teach kids about same-sex marriage and it won’t have any other dire consequences that Schubert and his campaign are sure to paint. Instead, we wait.
While our strategy of having conversations with voters across the state is part of our offense (and really good for Minnesota in the long-term), I worry that by not addressing Schubert’s tactics early, we’re going to be caught off guard and it’ll have far-reaching consequences (and really bad for Minnesota in the short-term).
In February, I posted a blog titled, “So Much for Disclosure Laws” highlighting the fact that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) funneled donations through other organizations to fund their campaign to pass the amendment. A month later, I shared how organizations fighting to pass the marriage amendment in Minnesota were under investigation. Sadly, in July I shared that the disclosure complaint was dismissed because of technical rules in the disclosure laws.
Now, there’s news that Yes on 8, the campaign that fought to pass Prop 8 in California, was found guilty on multiple counts of not disclosing donors. The impact? The organization may be required to pay $49,000.
Years after Prop 8 is passed, Yes on 8 is found guilty for breaking the law and nothing changes in California. So what’s the point of the law in the first place? These cases highlight the fact that donation disclosure laws in this country are simply a joke.
I found this video a while back and think it’s a great time to post as I’ve been talking a lot about how important individual conversations are. The 2-minute video above features a variety of Hollywood folks (including our favorite funny gal, Kathy Griffin) making marriage equality personal. Kathy starts out:
Ok, we all have friends, right? Now if somebody was going to hurt your friend, you wouldn’t let them. You would say something. You would do something.
While we all know the sad fact that Prop 8 passed in California, updating the state constitution to make same-sex marriage illegal, the video itself is still really effective. It’s effective because the various stars of the video make it personal:
When I heard about California’s Proposition 8, you know, the one that bans gay marriages… I thought of my friend Howard. My friend Sam. Rachel and Percy. I thought of my friend Sara. Changing the constitution to take away rights for my friend, the right to marry and have equal rights and live her life how she wants to do is something that I could never do. It’s not fair.
In addition, each person makes a plea to help get the word out:
It’s as easy as a call, a text or email to help spread this very important message. Do whatever you can, do whatever you can to reach out to loved ones, friends, families, enemies and urge them to not write discrimination into the California state constitution.
Take a few minutes to watch. Heck, I think I’m even going to drop Kath a note to see if she’ll send her support all the way up here to Minnesota. :)
Here’s to changing hearts and minds, one conversation at a time.
I’ve posted some polling numbers the past couple days and talked a little bit about some of the conflicting data. An ABC News story published yesterday, entitled, “Polls on Gay Marriage Not Yet Reflected in Votes” digs into the issue a little deeper. The article asks the question that if the majority of Americans now support gay marriage, why have 32 states amended their constitutions so that it would not be allowed.
Even in California, where polling numbers showed Prop 8 would “lose decisively,” voters ended up passing the measure with a 52-48 margin. If you look here at Minnesota, polls indicate that it will be very close. Looking to California polling for some indication as to what we might expect, and it doesn’t look good…
Link to Video (opens in new window)
Earlier, I posted the “Gathering Storm” ad Prop 8 supporters ran in California. I mentioned how funny man, Stephen Colbert, created his own parody of the ad. Colbert spends a couple minutes of this clip talking about how some cultures’ traditions are pretty #$&!ed up.
And get this, did you know that in some US states, it is legal for two dudes to get married?
Colbert goes on to talk about the National Organization for Marriage and plays the Gathering Storm ad I shared earlier today. Perhaps my favorite part of Colbert’s response:
I love that ad, it is like watching the 700 Club and the Weather Channel at the same time.
The comedian talks about how he expected this gay marriage thing to be kept to other states, but now this “arma-gay-don” is spreading.
He then shares how he knew he had to do something, and his commercial begins to play. There are some wonderful moments in this video that mock tactics used by Prop 8 supporters, including:
Did you know that if all 50 states approve gay marriage, straight marriage becomes illegal?
Yes, I heard that somewhere.
I’m a New Jersey pastor whose church was turned into an Abercrombie and Fitch.
I’ll let you watch and enjoy it for yourself. When the mocked up commercial is over, Colbert comes back and says:
Remember, when the gay community is granted personal freedoms, ours get taken away. How? Shhhhh… Did you see all that lightening?
While it’s a funny parody, it’s still bittersweet to know that Prop 8 passed in California and similar amendments have passed in every state where they’ve been proposed. Minnesotans, it’s time to stand up and land on the right side of history by voting NO this NOvember.
This week, I’ve posted a variety of ads; some use fear to incite emotion while others use children. The above commercial, also from the supporters of Prop 8, creates the feeling of impending doom and starts with:
There’s a storm gathering
The clouds are dark and the winds are strong
And I am afraid…
This ad uses a different technique in that it leverages multiple adult characters each with a different line of dialogue (the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen tells us that these adult characters are all actors, however, they are supposedly telling stories based on real incidents).
The skies throughout the first part of the commercial are dark as each person speaks of the impending storm that is brewing and how rights have been taken away when marriage equality laws are passed.
I am a Massachusetts parent helplessly watching public schools teach my son that gay marriage is ok.
A California doctor and church group also share how they would supposedly be impacted if gay marriage were legal. The actors go on to say that same-sex marriage advocates are not content and they want to change the way Californians live and that people would have no choice.
The storm is coming.
A man appears with the text Damon Owens, National Organization for Marriage. As he begins to share that there is hope, the overcast skies open up and sun shines through. He shares how “a rainbow coalition of every creed and color coming together in love to protect marriage.” He concludes by putting a plug in for the organization’s website and then says “join us.”
I actually found the commercial to be a little creepy, almost cult-like with the last words Mr. Owens speaks. With that said, it is both memorable and effective as it paints a somber picture of how Californians may be impacted if gay marriage were legal.
Once again, however, the ad is easily debunked. The claim from the California doctor that she must choose between her faith and her job doesn’t make sense. Is she saying that she would have to choose whether or not a same-sex couple would be allowed to see each other in the hospital? Or is she saying that she would have to choose whether or not a same-sex couple raising a child should be allowed to see their daughter in the emergency room? Hmmm. If these are the choices this doctor is making, find me someone else, please! Who else does she hold a grudge against and how does that impact her other decisions?
As for the mother who can do nothing to stop her child from learning about same-sex couples, well I’m sorry to say, that fight is a lost battle. Have you turned on the television recently? Even childrens’ comics feature same-sex couples these days. The reality is, social norms are changing (have changed) and children in every state will be exposed to different definitions of love.
As for the church group that is punished for not following the law? Well, I would ask what benefits that church is receiving from their government? Tax laws in their favor? Other non-exempt benefits? I don’t fully understand why these organizations feel that they should benefit from the government partnerships, but then not be held to any standards of accountability. It always brings me back to the concept of church and state and I’ve got to ask if we’ve got the separation that our founders intended?
The ad was effective and has been viewed over a million times. In fact, it was so popular that Stephen Colbert created his own funny version of this ad (I’ll post it a little later today or tomorrow). While effective, there are clearly ways to counter this type of ad. The most effective is talking about it and pointing out some of the logical gaps mentioned above.
Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California…
Stephen Reinhardt, Judge, United States Court of Appeals
What a week for news! The AP reports that Prop 8 is deemed unconstitutional.
Yes, this video is over 3 years old, but it’s still such a classic. This was the very moment that I fell in love with Keith Olbermann.
1967. The Parents of the president-elect of the United States could not have married in nearly 1/3 of the states of the country their son grew up to lead.
Impassioned Olbermann speaks out against Prop 8 and the inequities it creates in the State of California.
Take a couple minutes out to watch. Thank you Mr. Olbermann for caring so much and sharing your message with the world.